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  1. Getting to the age where truly memorable people are dying of natural causes rather than hitting the ground is cause to ponder those halcyon days. I swapped a few emails with Larry some years ago, but the last time I spoke to him was in the early '80s, when he and Mary Donnan, both of 'em knee-crawling drunk, called me at about 2a.m. from Salt Lake City. They thought it was hilarious when I told them - rather grumpily - what time it was. There's something rather poignant about how easily forgotten are those who made a real contribution to the sport.
  2. Jim_Hooper

    ZHills sign

    Stolen - I think - during the 1981 Easter Boogie. A hundred bucks to have it made, another hundred for a year's rent on the location - pffft - gone. Left me in a moderately murderous mood. Hoop SCR242 SCS90 NSCR26
  3. Jim_Hooper

    First Tandem

    Believe me, Beanpole was one hot skydiver back in the day. And the first to do a tandem - with his disabled stepson Kirk as the passenger. Please pass on my regards when you next see him. Hoop www.jimhooper.co.uk
  4. Jim_Hooper

    Team USA RW 1981 Z-Hills

    Hi Mike -- I have some pretty vivid memories of you guys. Hoop
  5. Jim_Hooper


    Dave -- For a little history on opposition to that thread, may I refer you to http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=3110608;search_string=garden%20shed;#3110608
  6. Jim_Hooper

    Jerry Irwin Photos

    Some sent me into nostalgic overload. Hoop
  7. Jim_Hooper

    Jumping at Casa Grande

    Tom Phillips spent a few months at Z'hills jumping with the Ten High Bunch prior to heading for the Gulch. I remember him as an excellent skydiver and all-round good guy. Like you, I was saddened when I heard he'd gone in. And yes, the same story about downers playing a role and impacting on a highway also reached us in Florida. What particularly disturbed me was hearing that the more macabre faction there had collected his teeth and displayed them alongside the famous arm. Hoop
  8. Jim_Hooper

    Turkey Meet 1973 - Z-Hills

    Welp, I recognized a young Dave Sickler and an equally young Jim Mowrey. After that I went into brain lock mode and couldn’t put names to faces I remember. As far as the C-46, with two R-2800s dragging five (or was it six?) 10-man teams, it made for an interesting and moderately exotic jump ship. After its debut at the Turkey Meet that year, the Ten High Bunch and assorted wives, girlfriends and hangers-on loaded up at o-dark-thirty one night and partied all the way to Tahlequah for the ’73 Nationals. "Oh shit, the engine's on fire!" (Faces suddenly glued to the windows.) "That's the engine exhaust, you dumb fuck." "Wow." "It's blue." "Oh, wow, man, check out that blue exhaust." "Oh, yeah, man, that's like far out." "Dig it, I'm just gonna like groove on it for awhile." "Hey, who's bogarting?" Arriving over the airfield a little after dawn, about a dozen of us – in varying degrees of consciousness – skydived out. When we opened – two or three miles downwind of the DZ – everyone headed for the closest roads, from which we were picked up by a succession of bemused farmers, who weren’t quite sure what to make of these mostly bearded, long-haired hippy types wearing love beads and roach clips. Delivered to the airfield, we packed and waited for the airplane. And waited. Eventually, Jack Bergman wandered over to say that he’d just gotten a call. Seems the pilot had a look at the airport specs as he was descending and realized the width of the runway exceeded the width of his landing gear by about four feet, and diverted to Tulsa with ladies, stash and all the rest of a 1970s skydiver’s essentials. Sadly, the C-46 never flew at the Nationals. Hoop
  9. Jim_Hooper

    Z-Hills Flightline

    Damn, Jim, 30 years down the road the only two I can positively identify are 43WT (Bob Sweet's Lodestar, second from left), 40T, and then possibly Harold Lang's Lodestar from Palatka. And yes, that would have been the '76 Turkey Meet with 102 registered 10-man teams, eight DC-3/C-47s and two Lodestars (one of the three in the pic did not fly the meet). Hoop
  10. Jim_Hooper

    Jumping at Casa Grande

    "I'd heard that Shafer was killed flying helicopters in South America. (Can't verify that, but I'll check the site and see if anyone else knows.)" What I heard from an impeccably reliable source was that Bob Shafer's Lodestar was (allegedly) low and slow in heavy rain somewhere in Louisiana, with Simon Fraser kicking out packages of exotic imports, when the aircraft hit high tension lines. Simon's body was recovered from a shallow grave near the crash site. Don't know about Shafer but apprently the Law descended on his house soon thereafter looking for him. That would have been in '82 or '83. Hoop
  11. Jim_Hooper


    Howard - the demise of The Herd is a great loss to skydiving. Stories of their antics at Z'hills were legion. I don't think any group had more fun than those guys. Remember the Whale lying on a polar bear rug at the '73 Nationals, sucking on a baby's bottle and wearing only a frilly bonnet? Hoop